Home Index of Herbal Remedies Herbal Remedy Title Page




Description. This is one of the kinds of flower-de-luce, having divers leaves arising from the roots, very like a Flower-de-luce, but that they are sharp-edged on both sides, and thicker in the middle, of a deeper green colour narrower and sharper pointed, and a strong ill-scent, if they be bruised between the fingers. In the middle rises up a reasonably strong stalk, a yard high at least, bearing three or four flowers at the top, made somewhat like the flowers of the Flower-de-luce, with three upright leaves, of a dead purplish ashcolour, with some veins discoloured in them; the other three do not fall down, nor are the three other small ones so arched, nor cover the lower leaves as the Flower-de-luce doth, but stand loose or asunder from them. After they are past, there come up three square hard husks, opening wide into three parts when they are ripe, wherein lie reddish seed, turns black when it hath abiden long. The root is like that of the Flower-de-luce, but reddish on the outside, and whitish within, very sharp and hot in the taste, of as evil a scent as the leaves.

Place. This grows as well in upland grounds, as in moist places, woods, and shadowy places by the sea-side in many places of this land, and is usually nursed up in gardens.

Time. It flowers not until July, and the seed is ripe in August or September, yet the husks after they are ripe, opening themselves, will hold their seed with them for two or three months, and not shed them.

Government and virtues. It is supposed to be under the dominion of Saturn. It is used by many country people to purge corrupt phlegm and choler, which they do by drinking the decoction of the roots; and some to make it more gentle, do but infuse the sliced roots in ale; and some take the leaves, which serve well for the weaker stomach. The juice hereof put up, or snuffed up the nose, causes sneezing, and draws from the head much corruption; and the powder thereof doth the same. The powder thereof drank in wine, helps those that are troubled with the cramps and convulsions, or with the gout and sciatica, and gives ease to those that have griping pains in their body and belly, and helps those that have the stranguary. It is given with much profit to those that have had long fluxes by the sharp and evil quality of humours, which it stays, having first cleansed and purged them by the drying and binding property therein. The root boiled in wine and drank, doth effectually procure women's courses, and used as a pessary, works the same effect, but causes abortion in women with child. Half a dram of the seed beaten to powder, and taken in wine, doth speedily cause one to make water abundantly. The same taken with vinegar, dissolves the hardness and swellings of the spleen. The root is very effectual in all wounds, especially of the head; as also to draw forth any splinters, thorns, or broken bones, or any other thing sticking in the flesh, without causing pains, being used with a little verdigrease and honey, and the great Centaury root. The same boiled in vinegar, and laid upon an eruption or swelling, doth very effectually dissolve and consume them; yea, even the swellings of the throat called the king's evil; the juice of the leaves or roots heals the itch, and all running or spreading scabs, sores, blemishes, or scars in the skin, wheresoever they be.

Home Index of Herbal Remedies Herbal Remedy Title Page